Developing one’s communication skills can make the difference between a rising employee and a manager, a manager and a leader.
Unsure about how to go about improving your employees’ interpersonal and communication skills? If so, you might be interested in our free eBook that outlines the core questions many executives who want to help their employees develop personally and professionally face. This helpful, exclusive guide from Arden’s coaches will help you lay the groundwork for the next steps in the process.
If your managers are advancing your organization through steadfast leadership within their teams, it means that they’ve mastered the following 5 essential communication skills:
1. Active, Curious Listening
Active listening is much more than just being all ears. In addition to making sure that the speaker feels heard, it involves being able to listen without judgement. Most of us tend to naturally listen with judgement. We either say “I agree” or “I don’t agree,” but true active listening removes judgment altogether and challenges us to be curious about someone else’s perspective from the start.
When you listen with curiosity, you’re more likely to find even a small slice of common ground that can be put to superior use.
2. Productive Feedback Delivery
Receiving feedback is the backbone of personal development in any given position. Yet giving feedback productively is largely missing in a lot of corporations. What does feedback done right entail? Being able to get your point across constructively and giving the recipient a way to be empowered by the feedback and inspired to improve rather than feeling as though they’re being demeaned or criticized personally.
When feedback is given and asked for often, both parties, manager and employee, benefit greatly.
3. Team Encouragement
A manager who makes a difference encourages participation and contribution from the individuals they lead on their own and together as a team. Those who succeed in providing encouragement are dynamic communicators who are resilient in their efforts. They know that if they’re not getting a good response from the group, they need to change their approach in how they’re being received.
Encouragement and sharing everyone’s ideas allows the team to use all of its talent!
4. A Coaching Mindset
To build a strong team and positively influence others, the most effective managers are focused on developing the people they lead rather than just evaluating their performance. A desire and corresponding action to help each team member grow his or her personal skills and leadership comes naturally to those with a coaching mindset.
Coaching involves being a leader and not just a boss. It inspires people to follow your lead while challenging and encouraging each individual to develop in their current and future roles.
5. Being Able to Manage Up
Great managers also have the necessary tools, confidence, and strategy to have difficult conversations with their boss or those above them when necessary. When an unrealistic expectation is set, they respectfully let others know and follow up with the resources they and their team need to get the job done well.
Managing up helps those at the top better serve those throughout the organization.
Start Helping Your Managers Succeed
If your managers are missing a few of the skills we listed above, there’s definitely room for improvement. Coincidentally, all of these communication skills apply to leaders in a variety of positions. Following essential skill #4 is the best way to help yourself help them!
Focusing on skill advancement alongside application, the Arden Leadership Academy provides your company’s rising leaders with communication training with a coaching mentality. Interested in learning more? Click here for a closer look at the Arden Leadership Academy curriculum.